Short Stories: Rat Tail and Scar…..

 

Chapter 1

How in the world did I get here? Did I go to a party? I really can’t remember. I recall I was eating a really good dinner and had lots of water and now all I see around me is emptiness. Have I crossed over? It can’t be, I can see things moving, I can smell the air. I saw a rat or maybe it was a cat I couldn’t tell it was too far.

I looked down and I realized I was tied to a pole with a very large chain and I could barely move. I looked down at my body and all I saw was fleas jumping off my very very wrinkled skin. When did I become a Sharpei? I am a Pitbull! What maybe I did cross over. This is very confusing! I started focusing really hard and saw the steady drip of water that came from somewhere I don’t know but I think I am in a really large empty room. Light trickles in and from time to time I see some humans that kind of look like me. Lost and afraid and really hungry. There was this one human who gave me some of his food, It kind of tasted like what I imagine Cat food to taste like, but he was kind and shared. He never came back. I guess sharing wasn’t his thing.

Time was passing and I did not remember why I was there, but I must have done something really bad to be tied to this pole for so long. I don’t remember the last time I ate or walked around and I have been sleeping right next to my pee, this was really yucky and I wished I could get off this chain. I pulled and pulled and all it did was hurt my neck and make me sleepy. I guess I sleep all the time as I don’t have a schedule, no one comes to play with me or feed me or take me for walks. I think my human must have crossed over as I can’t smell him anywhere. Of course I cant go anywhere to try to smell him.

One day I hear a lot of noise and the next thing I know, these big car like things start bringing in a lot of junk into my room, boxes and lamps and all kinds of stuff. I tried to call out but no one heard me. Time started passing and I was still all alone. Each day more and more stuff would come in but no one saw me.

One morning or I think it was morning, a lot of light came in my room. Doors were open. I did not even know my room had doors. I heard voices. I started to think maybe now I have crossed over. Light and voices but no one ever sees me.

Then it happened two very beautiful voices came over to me and said “hey Buddy are you all right?” I stood up with all my might and I cried out No, Help me! I am supposed to be a Pit and look at me, I am a damn Sharpei. I have more wrinkles than I can count.

I am hungry and my human never came for me. I have been tied here for a very long time and I am hungry and I don’t feel good. The two nice voices went and got me a blanket and food and water. One stayed with me while the other one went somewhere. I found out later that she went to get big tool thing to cut me off that rope. Wow! it feels good to be off that thing. I can move and I forgot how much I like humans. Some of them are so nice.

The next thing I knew I was in a car. I love the car it is so much fun. They took me to the doctors, as a matter of fact they took me to a lot of doctors and they introduced me to a whole big family. The doctors kept saying this guy is not well, but I knew I just needed some food, and a few baths and to get rid of these fleas. Some of the fleas were always teasing me telling me that they are the boss of me, but my new friends gave me a yucky tasting pill and the next thing I knew all of the fleas were gone. Even the mean ones that not only bit me, but teased me too.

I am kind of confused as to why everyone has the same two names, they are either Mommy or Daddy and sometimes there are a bunch of Mommy and Daddies, but I don’t care because they now call me Mikey. I like that name. It makes feel like I have a family again. I started going to the doctor a lot.

I got this awesome tent to live in while I was healing up. I thought my new friends were going to be my family but they were just letting me stay with them while I healed.

One day my friend said to me, time to go to your new home. I was so excited, I peed on the neighbor dog(he was not that nice and since we were not going to be neighbors anymore, I knew it was going to be okay)

I went on an awesome car ride, and I brought my new tent and blankets and bowls and toys and I knew that my life was going to be better and better. At first it took some used to getting my new Mommy and Daddy to understand when I wanted to eat and go out. I would hear my Dad say I don’t understand Dog, what are you trying to tell me Mikey. Do you want to go out? Do you want to eat. It took a little time to figure out who was going to do what, but after some time we all figured it out.

When I need to do my business, I just stare at them and put one ear up. That means now and if they don’t listen I do my funny bark, it sounds like a-wow wow rue! That means I can’t really wait anymore so now is a really good time to go for a walk.

When I am hungry I give them a different stare and then I just keep staring until they ask me if I am hungry then I wag my tail and they know.

A few weeks passed and I saw my friend who found me in that horrible room, and I saw all those nice people who visited me in the doctors office. I figured out they were family of my new parents. They are all really nice to me and I hear them talking about how much better I look. The only thing is sometimes they call me Rat Tail, I think that might be mean but when they say it they always pet me and say it will grow back boy, so maybe it is just an observation.

My new Mommy is easy to boss around. If she does not pay attention to me, I sit by her bed and rattle my tags, if that does not work I tap my paw nails on her floor. I think I could probably have been a famous tap dancer, had I not been locked away in that place.

Laa Daa tap tap tap,, La La Daa tap tap tap…….

 

Chapter 2

One day I was playing with my brothers and sisters. I was really young. I heard my humans saying that I was the runt. I didn’t know what that meant. I though I was King of the yard. I knew how to go outside to do my business and I slurped the loudest when I was drinking. Late one evening my human said come on little guy we are going for a ride. I was really excited as I did not know what a ride was, but I was the only one going with him so for sure, I knew that runt must mean I am the favorite.

We went to a store, it was really awesome. The store had dog food and cat food and fish and lizards and crickets and toys it was like a giant party. I heard my human talking to other humans but I was very busy meeting this cute little boy and girl and their human. They liked me a lot and they asked their human if they could have me. Have me does that mean I can’t go back to my brothers and sisters? Does that mean my human is just giving me away? Am I for sale? What in the world, that must mean I am a runt and they don’t keep runts?

So very confused. I was so excited I peed right there on the floor. The nice human said oh look he is so happy he is peeing. I think he would fit right in with our family. The little humans said but Dad, Mom is not going to want a puppy she said we were to go in the store get crickets and crickets only. The Dad human said oh she is a softy let’s go outside and show her this puppy and when she falls in love we will tell her he is hers.

They brought me to the car. They had a little car and it had a lot of humans in it now, The Dad human and the Mom human and there were 3 little humans. The Mom human said Oh my this is the cutest puppy I ever saw. Wow she liked me a lot she held me and pet my head and the next thing I knew they started calling me Larry.

They brought me home and I found out that I was going to have a brother, his name was Romeo and he was a lot older than me. He did not love playing and he really loved my new Dad human. They had a lizard named Gilbert and a whole bunch of birds. I thought I was on a farm or something but really it was just a regular house like the one with my real brothers and sisters.

As time past I really liked these humans. They became my family very quickly. The boy human was my best buddy. When the morning would come I would jump over the sofa and land on him to wake him up to go on the big car that took him away every morning and brought him back every afternoon. I hated when he left but it gave me time to get to know my other humans. The little one liked to sneak me out of my little house and play with me. The Dad human slept all the time. The Mom human was always busy she came and went a lot with the Dad human and the little girl human. The older girl human liked me a lot she would sit in the yard with me and my dog brother and we could run around and she would laugh all the time. This made me really happy. I had a big family and they were really nice. They taught me some neat things but they would still get mad sometimes.

I got in trouble one day for eating what they called the wall? I don’t know what that means but it tasted good and there was lots more of it so I don’t know why they were so mad. The boy human got mad at me when I ate his long worms, he said he needed them for school? What is that and why does he need worms for school. I guess they were food for his square thing he carries around.

Time started passing and I was getting bigger and bigger. I no longer had to live in my little house and I was allowed to sleep on the bed with my boy human. It was awesome, he would rub me and pet me and play with me all the time.

One day my Mom human went out with my Dad human and he never came back. I think he must have fallen asleep somewhere? I missed him a lot he was funny, but he did sleep all the time so probably one day he will wake up and come home? I think at least.

One day it was really weird Mom was crying all day long and then my brother Romeo went out and he too never came back. It was so sad, my Mom human told me that he passed over the Rainbow Bridge. I too was sad as all dogs learn about the Rainbow bridge when they are born.

Now our family was smaller. It was kind of weird now but they still took good care of me, they played all the time and fed me and walked with me to the park. I even got to go in the swing until I got too big and did not fit anymore.

One day our family moved to a new house and you would not believe but the big girl human left home. But it was really neat, she would come back with her new friend a boy human and they would sneak me human food. They would visit and bring me toys. It was really nice.

As time passed I got bigger and bigger and sometimes my Mom human and the little girl human would not be home all the time. I spent a lot of time with my boy human and he makes sure I go outside to do my business and he knows when I am hungry all the time.

My family has lots of funny names they call me but my real name is Larry. I answer to that but I also answer to hey you, yo dog and anything as long as it is my humans calling me. I know they love me so much. I am so glad I was the runt and I got to get my own human family…

 

Chapter 3

I went to lots of doctors and they all said the same thing. In time his hair will grow back, in time with the proper diet he will gain weight back and in time we will get these ear infections under control.

Truth is my Dad and Mom human feed me this awful food and then they try to tell me it is good. I don’t see them eating it and it does not taste good. I decide I will not eat until they find me something that at least tastes a little good. One day my Dad human comes home with a bag of something. I was canned food and he mixed it in with my dry food. Oh boy o boy that tastes good. Now I am back to eating. The doctor said my ears are getting better but my fur is taking it’s sweet time coming back in.

When My Mom and Dad human take me walks I hear the other dogs cracking jokes about me, they call me baldy back, lumpy and Rat Tail. There goes that Rat Tail again. The humans say it and the dogs. It must be true I must be the famous Rat Tail. They are not making in fun of me. They know I am a very famous dog. Rat Tail. I am the boss of this dangerous gated community in Florida. All dogs and people know to stay there distance as I run these streets. When big Mikey comes through All hail Mikey, either pet me give me or kiss or walk on the other side of the street.

Now that I finally knew the truth, I am Boss dog, Big Mike aka Rat Tail. I can demand things. When I give my humans the look they better react. I give them that eye and raised ear and they run for that leash and take me for a walk. When I give them the eye, my water bowl fills up and my food appears instantly. When I want a belly rub I just roll over and wiggle and belly rubs come out of no where.

I like being Boss. Sometimes I give those humans a wink and they take me to none other but the famous dog park. When I get there all the dogs greet me at the gate. They all say ohhh Rat tail is here. Give him space, let him in and let him take whatever tennis balls he can find. They usually chatter say good bye to you balls, Rat Tail is here.

I really like the park nice humans usually talk to my humans and ask what is wrong with me and they say nothing. They say they rescued me and that I am an old boy, I am pretty sure that means I am a very cool and famous dog, as they are all very nice to me.

For a long time I only went to the park with my Humans but one day my humans family came with their dog. I did not know they had a dog, why are they at our park and who is this wiggly guy. He is like bigger than me and very busy, Eww I hope they don’t really come in the fence, where I am ,hopefully they just needed to tell me humans something and they will leave as fast as they came…….

 

 

Chapter 4

One day my Mom human and my boy and girl human said come on Lar, let’s go meet Grandpa and Mikey at the dog park. I said what a park for dogs….Yes yes yes, I got so happy I peed right there in the doorway. Mom said I really need to control that peeing but I did not care because I heard Grandpa. Grandpa is my friend when he comes to visit he plays with me and rubs my ears in a very special way. Only a real Grandpa could rub them.

While we were driving in the car, I said hi to every car that went by. I was trying to tell them I am going to the park but most of them just looked at me and kept driving. I guess they were mad they were not going to the park.

We finally made it to the park. My boy human said I should walk around outside for a while so I would not be so excited when I get inside. I did not care what he had to say I was really excited and I got to the first gate, I went inside and I was greeting my Moms sister and this dog , He was fierce, he had a Rat Tail and I think he wanted to eat me. I growled and tried to act tough, but he growled louder and he bit me a little. I learned later that he was the famous Rat Tail and I should respect him. I also learned , you will never believe this he was my Grandpa’s dog. My Grandpa human had his own dog and his own dog is famous.

I went inside the park and found out it was a lot of fun. I get to run with out my leash. I can drink from a bucket and there are lots of other dogs and humans. There was this one dog there I think he liked me a little too much. He made me feel weird so I went closer to my humans for protection. I tried really hard to make Rat Tail be my friend, but he was very busy taking a tennis ball apart. He took that ball out with such force I knew I better be nice to him.

It was a nice day except the part when we first got to the park, and I had to growl, that made me feel mean and I am a lover not a fighter. We went home and the whole ride I kept hearing my humans talking about how they hope me and Mikey will get along. They hope we like living together and they hope I don’t get beat up too much.

Now I am really confused, I thought that was just someone we met at the park. I did not know I am moving and I did not know I have to now make friends with the Infamous Rat Tail. Geeze now I am getting a little nervous.

A few weeks past and I did not move and see anyone from the park. I decided they were just talking about maybe moving. Then it happened my Mom human came home with boxes and boxes and she was so busy she barely played with me. The boy and girl human were busy and I knew things were changing.

One day my humans said come on Larry lets go for a ride, lets go visit Grandpa. I got really excited as I like him a lot, while we were driving I was pretty excited. I started thinking about my last car ride and I realized I may have to be brave because that other dog lives with my Grandpa.

We pulled up to the house and went inside. At first I was so excited I ran to my Grandpa and well you probably know what happened next, I peed.

Grandpa said oh Larry you always pee when you get happy, you need to relax. I am also happy to see you and I am not peeing.

Then it happened, my Moms sister came in the house with non other than Mikey aka Rat Tail. I started shaking in my shoes, but then I remembered I am the runt. I am the favorite so I will stand tall and pretend like I am not scared for my life. Mikey came over and we did our dog ritual, a little butt sniffing and a little soft growling. At first I thought my cover was blown when my stupid tail started wiggling, but then I saw his tail was wiggling also.

Time started passing and we tried playing. I jumped on Mikey he jumped on me and sometimes when I walked past him he bit me. Mommy said it was a love bite, but she does not speak dog and I know for sure he wants to eat me.

Luckily we went home and all was well…

Chapter 5

Boy was I glad that annoying youngster Larry went home. My Mommy and Daddy human said I should be nice to him as he is a young guy and he was going to be staying here for a while. I was not to happy with that idea but my humans said I have to get used to it as that is what family does. Family that guy is family. Well he does have a lot of wrinkles so maybe I am part Sharpei. Well if we are going to family for I will have to let him know who is Boss Dog. I ,Sir Mikey aka Rat Tail. I am Boss Dog! I rule the roost and I for sure will make that young guy bow down to me. He will give me all toys and I will steal his bed once he get’s here.

Chapter 6

I heard my humans say its moving day. I did not see any one moving they were just watching that square thing that talks. Later that day I saw some other humans, I knew they were family humans as I see them from time to time, showed up with a few things. Then they left. Late that night they came in with that dog. I guess his name is Larry even though I think by the time I am done with him he might just have a new name, like beat up or dead. My humans reminded me to be nice.

That Larry came in my house and started wiggling. He would not stop wiggling and I thought he kind of looked like he could use one of the doctors. I think he was having a seizure or something. I remembered my humans saying be nice so I went up to him. I barked loudly. I am Mikey. I am ruler of this house you will not eat my food, you will not sleep on my couch and you can’t play with my Mom. And that is the rules, youngster.

Chapter 7

It was moving day. Lots of activity and lots of people. No one wanted to play, they all said later Larry we are busy. My human girl came in my human boys room a lot and said later we will have fun. I believed her as she really loves me. Finally my boy human said come on Larry, we are done with this house. He put my food and my bowl and my bed and my toys in the car and we piled in. Off we went and we said goodbye to our old house.

We started driving and I could see my humans were tired. I was bored had nothing to do all day so I started wiggling in the car and talking to the people in the cars next to us. No one was paying attention to me.

We pulled up and sure enough we were at my Grandpa humans house. My boy human made me walk a little bit before we went in, He knows when I get happy I have to pee. We went inside and my fears were as suspected. There he was Big Mikey. He came to me and told me the rules. I am not allowed to eat his food, no going on his couch and I am not to try to steal his Mommy human, which is my Mommy humans sister. I knew he mean business when he growled at me. I tried to stand my ground and growl back I even jumped up on him like I was tough.I really was scared but I did not want anyone to notice. I got yelled at and squirted with the water bottle and then my boy human put down my bed and told me I had to go to sleep.

I decided it was safer to sleep with my Mom human and my girl human. They were nice to me and they kept telling me it will all be okay.

The morning came and my boy human took me for a walk. Wait no dumpster? no trash on the side walk? no left over poop to sniff. I am very confused. My Grandpa human must live in a very bad neighborhood. No wonder Mikey has to be so tough , he has to protect himself here. I bet there must be scary dogs and humans here.

 

Chapter 8

Time started passing and it seemed like Larry was not leaving. It was not so bad. His humans are really nice to me and they can walk me when my Daddy is not feeling good or my Mommy is out. She goes out a lot and when she is gone I miss her. Her sister is Larry’s Mommy human and I kind of like those little humans she brought with her. They play with me a lot.

Larry and I try to be friends but he is a youngster and he thinks he knows everything so I have to school him from time to time. You will never believe he tried to eat my food. I had to bite him right on the nose. I made him bleed and his humans got really worried. I thought I might be in big trouble, but there were just worried about him. I started to feel bad about biting him so hard, but hey sometimes you just react.

Now

they call him Scar. The other day we were walking through the streets. When we go out together our humans always remind us Rat Tail and Scar be nice. Don’t bark and don’t jump. I listen really well. Scar not so much he likes to bark. I figured out he is just bragging about being my brother. He yells at everyone and says clear the way, Rat Tail is coming through and he needs to do his business. Give him space give him privacy and most importantly don’t mess with his new partner in crime Scar.

So now you know about Rat Tail and Scar…..

 

Crockpot Steak

I have made a ton of things in my Crockpot over the years. I have never really tried making steak in it though. As I have stated in an earlier post I am in the middle of moving and I am trying to use up all my groceries prior to my move to make life a little easier. Also with moving cooking in my crockpot allows me to take care of other things while still making a decent dinner.

The ingredients I used were simple, easy and tasty!

Sirloin Steak

Black Pepper

Paprika

Adobo

Garlic Powder

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes with Chile Peppers(medium heat)

I turned the crockpot on at noon, I went to work came home at 6 and was the tenderest steak I ever made.

My kids are not big fans of Rice A Roni, but I like it and well I need to finish up the groceries so I make the Beef Flavor to go with the Steak, It was truly delicious and I would surely make again.

I am sure that you could use whatever cut of steak you like but I used what I had, I had originally bought it to make fajitas. But I guess I never got around to that.

Sometimes I forget that I actually enjoy cooking, Now I need to start taking good pictures of these recipes.

When my husband was alive , he used to call  me Master Mix as no matter how little food we had I always found a way to throw it together and come up with a meal. That was a very long time ago and have gotten into the routine of  the What do you want for dinner game? which I actually don’t like at all. I ask my Daughter, I ask my son they will usually disagree on whatever the other on says and I will get mad and make a pot of pasta, he loves meat sauce, she hates the consistency and only wants pasta with meatballs. Kids they are always going to keep it interesting.

Happy Crockpotting!

Hard to believe this is even me…

I have not written in a while. I have kind of been in a funk. I have a lot of emotions running through me and I am not sure where they will go and what I will be able to do to control the events that will follow.

I have always prided myself on taking care of myself. I have believed that somehow someway things will work out. I have believed that at the last moment something will come through and I will figure it out.

I am wrong. I am 3 -1/2 weeks away from actually being homeless. I have never thought that life would bring me here , but well here I am.

I have worked since I was 13 years old. I was never one to sit on my butt and do nothing, I was always the one who went out and found a way. Now it has been several years since I have had a real job, one I could count on , one that could count on me.

My daughter’s health has a lot to do with it. She is complicated at best, and she requires a ton of medical intervention. Appointments, surgeries, medications, treatments and so on. In addition to that she needs to be a normal kid, school, fun, life activities. I also have my teenage son home still in homeschooling, and my oldest who is on her own now.

I have tons of medical issues myself, I have tummy troubles. both knees need replacing, high blood pressure, weight issues and I have been fighting with depression and anxiety my entire adult life. With all these issues and my daughter’s issues finding work has been near impossible. I have tried at home jobs on the phone but they require mandatory times or good internet or other issues that I am not able to accomplish, not at lack of trying though. I have tried cashier jobs as they are more flexible timing, but standing for long periods of time cause my knee pain to be intolerable.

I have managed to maintain my residence, by living off my daughter’s SSI which is under 700 a month and my ex-husband was paying child support, which he did not do for the first 15 years after divorce, recently he found himself in jail and the checks stopped coming about 2 months ago. This has forced me to not be able to pay the bills at all , therefore rendering us homeless. My Dad has agreed to let us stay with him while we figure it all out, so at least we will be safe and loved, but it does not change the fact that it screws with my emotions. I have reached out to every organization only to be turned away each and every time.

I find it crazy that in a situation such as mine there is no help available. Housing has had a closed list for 8 years with no chance of getting in for at least 5 more years, I did not ask for my daughter to have all these health issues, nor did I ask her Dad to die from brain cancer, The only thing I could have done better was save years ago when I was working. I did not know where life would take me and I was under the impression that I would find a way.

I find myself fighting my depression with the help of medication but all I really want to do is climb in my bed and stay there for ever. I don’t, I get up I take care of my kids, I take care of meds and appointments. When my daughter is hospitalized I stay with her and go back and forth and check on my son. I make jokes and entertain her and all the kids like I am alive, like I am happy like I am not the mess I feel inside.

I don’t know what the near future will hold for us, but I do know that somehow someway I will find a way to not let it get the best of me.

Team Angel- Spinal Fusion

Thanks for the reminder Vater Syndrome!

These are the Before and After X-Rays of my daughter’s spine. Actually they are after and before as the pictures are posted.

Just last week we had her spinal fusion done. It was about a 4 hour procedure, although this is Angel we are talking about so you probably already know it was not really 4 hours. We got to the hospital ahead of time about 5:45 am and the day hospital opens at 6. By 6:20 they are looking for a good spot to put an IV. I explained to them she is a very hard stick. Even though they heard me they really were not listening to me. Not one of the 4 nurses could get a good vein. Don’t get me wrong the nurses found veins. They just did not work from all the scar tissue. The reason I tried telling them she is a hard stick. Eventually the Anesthesiologist Doctor came in and popped one right in an artery. I guess he can do that. At this point she was slightly overwhelmed but she is getting older now and learning to deal with the fact that she can’t stop all the doctors and nurses to come in when they need help. That is overwhelming for Angel she hates that. At home(TGH) they know that, at The Joes as Angel calls it they are learning.

So now the procedure is supposed to start at 7:30 and in fact they do take her back at that time. The nurse told me I will call you once the procedure actually starts and then each hour until it is completed. I was happy with that. I figured I would be less stressed getting the calls. I go back to the waiting area with me son and a gentleman from the hospital approaches me and asks if I would be willing to be part of their pilot program , updated text messages. I thought it was a great idea so I agreed. Now time is passing, My Dad shows up, now we are sitting waiting, my son, my Dad and myself. I am starting to worry why have they not called out yet? What is going on? Finally just after 10 am I get a call from the nurse explaining that the procedure is just now starting as they could not find a spot to put a central line, All of her access spots are shot and they struggled to find one.  It truly breaks my heart as I told them this from jump.

In any event she was comfortable and did not know anything going on as she was already sedated. Each hour or so they called out and each time assured me she was doing great. I also received a few text messages in between so I was super informed. I think the texting is great as it is not as scary as the phone some how or another.

When she first came out of surgery we were fortunate enough to know the recovery nurse. She has known Angel since she was a little baby and was quite familiar with her past health experiences. She recognized right away that her potassium was way too high for a Renal patient and immediately worked to get that reversed. By that evening her lab were almost back to normal. That was a good thing as any stress to Stevie(her transplanted kidney) is scary stuff.

The next two days were spent managing pain , only to wind up having a reaction to one of the IV pain meds so lots of steroids and benadryl and eventually figured out another pain plan. By the third day she was out of the ICU and on the second day of Physical Therapy. By day 5 we made discharge plans and have been continuing to heal at home. Aside from the obvious pain she is doing wonderful.

We are already noticing some differences, such as she is taller, her ribs are no longer sticking out in the front and back making her shirts fit wonky as she says. She said no longer feels the pressure in her lungs she was feeling from the ribs pushing and she is now practicing being straight which is quite different than it feels.

I knew this would be a big surgery, I was not surprised by the amount of blood she needed, or the issues getting the correct plan for pain. I was totally surprised by how quickly she was able to shift herself and put full weight on her legs.

Tomorrow she goes to get her stitches out and speak with the doctor about the amount of pain she is still currently having and the best way to manage it and hopefully get clearance to go back to teleclasses as the more you miss the harder it is to make up in school.

@TeamAngel

BBQ Brisket

I found this picture among my own, although I don’t shred my brisket on a board, so I am guessing this must be from somewhere online I saved for one reason or another. Anyway credit to google I guess.

Yesterday I was heading to Publix , our favorite grocery store. I told my daughter what you you like for dinner tonight. We were thinking Steak Fried Rice. So we went straight for the steaks only to see we were not impressed with any we saw for that meal, however there was this brisket just sitting there, moved from its corrected spot, looking like a lost item that will probably not get purchased. I moved it back to the right area to save that fate only to see there were some very nice pieces that were half the price they were last time I purchased.

Dinner plans changed, BBQ Brisket, which I make in the crockpot so really it should just be pulled brisket with bbq or crockpot brisket, Whatever you want to call it , was delicious.

I started off by browning the meat with a little pepper and garlic, and some onion powder. I then added chopped, red, green, orange bell peppers and chopped onion. Then I added a can of Rotel tomatoes with Chile Peppers. Once the meat was browned to my liking I added it to the crockpot. I put the veggies I added a little bbq sauce and turned it on high. About 4 hours in I turned the meat and added more bbq sauce. Then I let it continue to cook until my son was about to cry I was starving him to death. See he is 17 and quite capable of making his own food but when I make certain meals, he reverts back to that little boy who liked being spoiled a bit. My daughter was patiently waiting but she uses her head. If it is a crockpot meal she knows she is going to smell all day and wait forever to eat. I tell them it is anticipation and they should learn to embrace it, they tell me it is torture…

When the meat is ready I take it out of the crockpot, shred it, remove any fat that I may have missed and add it back to the sauce and if needs anymore flavoring, I attend at that time then I let it simmer it the sauce while I make a quick pot of rice, or yellow rice or in last night’s case it was mac and cheese. I will admit it has been about a year since I have made boxed mac and cheese and I bet it may be 10 years before I buy it again. Totally lost my taste for it, would rather have plain egg noodles or rice with that meal anyway.

Learning to cut back on sodium is something I have been working on for years, as my daughter was on dialysis for 8 years, but I never really cut it out I just cut back and for as little as she eats it always worked but now that she is older and eating more I am truly learning to cut it out where I can, buy lower sodium versions of certain items and use fresh ingredients for flavors as much as possible. You would be amazed the flavor that comes from a chile pepper.

Berry Smoothies

Lately I have been on smoothie kick. My kids and I are trying to change our eating habits. We have gone from much fried food and sweet snacks, baked goods and little debbies, and of course don’t forget the salty chips and stuff, to mostly baked, grilled or in the crock pot meals.

We have reduced sweets to holidays and special occasions, birthdays and such. Just last night I baked a Chocolate cake for my niece for her 8th birthday. Her Dad did not relay to her Mom that I was baking the cake and well then there were too. Not my plan but well hopefully it goes away today as I am having some company this afternoon. An old friend is coming by for a visit. Surely I will be able to pawn at least one piece of cake off on him.

For a while we were using my sisters single cup blender. She loaned it to me as I told her we need to try to find more healthy choices and smoothies are awesome. Well just a few weeks ago I caught an awesome sale. I got a $24.99 blender on sale to 19.95 and then a final reduce to 16.95 plus my 20% off for having the Target Cartwheel app. That was awesome and truthfully I went to the store just for that reason. I had no clue it reduced again down to 16.95 but I was super happy with my choice.

I bought a big bag of frozen mixed berries. I choose the organic, not sure if there was a reason I did that or not, I think it was just the same price same amount so why not. I bought a large container of lowfat vanilla yogurt. I buy Dannon as I like that one the best. Now I take the correct amount of berries out for the three of us, and a few spoons of the yogurt and blend away. Sometimes I add a little juice or more ice if I think the kids will want bigger drinks. But as long as I buy the ones with the berries so far they never go to waste. I really wanted to get the strawberry banana mix but they only had ones with papaya and I know my son does not like papaya so I skipped it. When I go shopping again I hope to be able to buy fresh fruit instead of the frozen and then just add ice. I hope it would come out the same or better? Time will tell

My daughter tells me I should be adding protein and seeds and things I tell her I get enough of that through my diet, but she swears if I do that I won’t want to eat anything else? Not sure about that either.